The Cincinnati Bengals hope to continue their winning streak this weekend but they'll have to get past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in order to do so.
Back when the schedules were released in May, this was a game that a lot of Bengals fans probably looked forward to. They figured it'd be a tough game against a Super Bowl-caliber team in the NFC and hey -- Maybe it'd even be an early Super Bowl matchup.
Yeah, that hasn't happened for the Bucs this year. While they're still probably going to make the playoffs due to the dumpster fire that is the NFC South, they're under .500 with four games left to go in the season. That's not a Tom Brady-esque season at all.
Even with the poor season, these Buccaneers players could make things tricky for our Bengals when the two meet up on Sunday.
While this season hasn't gone the way Brady expected it to when he came out of retirement, the team's struggles is not all on him. He's thrown for 3,585 yards, 17 touchdowns, and five interceptions during his 13 starts this year.
While Brady is coming off a bad loss to the 49ers where his team scored a garbage-time touchdown and that's it, the week before he led a come-from-behind win over the Saints on Monday Night Football. Yes, he was mostly bad in that game otherwise, but Brady performs well when it matters the most.
Plus, the Bengals could be without Mike Hilton in this game, meaning that Brady might be able to pick a part the Cincinnati secondary a little more.
Mike Evans and/or Chris Godwin
I decided to put these two in the same entry because neither has been their usual impressive selves in 2022. Evans hasn't gone over the 100-yard mark since Week 8 against the Ravens and has just three touchdowns on the season. Meanwhile, Godwin has just two touchdowns on the year. Neither guy has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving so far.
Even with that being the case, I mentioned how the Bengals could be without Hilton this weekend so it wouldn't surprise me if one of these receivers ended up having a big game on Sunday.
The rookie out of Arizona State has been on a tear recently, tallying at least 50 scrimmage yards in each of his four games. The Bengals slowed Nick Chubb down this past week but the Browns were also forced to go away from running the ball more due to the Bengals getting a double-digit lead.
If this game becomes a shootout, White will be a dangerous player on the Bucs' offense. Here's to hoping that D.J. Reader can shut the rookie down.
The former first-round pick out of LSU is a great tackler and he's just one tackle away from notching his third-straight 100-tackle season. He also has 12 QB hits, 5.5 sacks, and five defended passes on the year. His strength is definitely getting after the quarterback as he has a 70.4 pass-rush grade from PFF.
The former Nebraska linebacker is also quite the tackling machine with 95 on the year. He's not as good at getting to the quarterback, tallying 2.0 sacks on the year but David is great against the run with a 70.1 run-defense grade from PFF. He'll be looking to make sure that Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine don't have big games.